Be Natural-The Untold Story Of Alice Guy-Blaché

23 Jun

Be Natural-The Untold Story Of Alice Guy-Blaché—directed by Pamela B. Green. BioDoc. 103 minutes 2018.
The Story: The record of the career of the first female film director that blooms, then is lost, then denied, then recovered from obscurity.
I see this story unfold in a treat of unexpected story skills—so much so that I feel I am seeing the best documentary I have ever seen.

But it is perhaps simply the best documentary of a human being I have ever seen.

We find her in the 1890s stumbling into the Gaumont Film Company as a teen-age stenographer. Gaumont sold movie projectors and he lets her direct company promos, but she soon starts making story films, and finds her métier.

We see scenes and clips of some of these thousand films, notable for their natural acting and management of broad slapstick.

I will not tell the story of how all this came to pass and to fade, but it is wrenching to witness. Although also amazing to see how resources of family and colleagues and archives brought out of dark closets and subterranean coolers the record, the truth, and the work.

The lady lived a good long time, so we hear her speak, see her lively eyes, and follow her devotion to her craft into its obscurity and out again. A delightful woman. A gifted natural-born film-maker. A super film about it all.

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